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amberley hall 1The Tools and Trades History Society is an educational charity, whose aim is to further the knowledge and understanding of hand tools and the trades in which they were used.


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Many people will have heard of Ron Geesin through his music. He has had a long and varied career as a performer and composer - some of his best-known work was music for the films The Body and Sunday Bloody Sunday. He also co-composed Pink Floyd’s first ‘gold’ album Atom Heart Mother. More recently he has been a research fellow at the University of Portsmouth, working on the relationship between light and sound.

What is possibly less well known is that having been a member of TATHS for many years, he is also a dedicated collector of adjustable spanners.

As other members will appreciate, any tool gets more interesting when studied in depth, with a reference collection to show the advances in design and manufacture over the decades. Ron's collection started when he was looking for jazz 78s at car boot fairs but spotted the strange, sculptural shapes of rusty old adjustable spanners poking out of buckets of old tools. It now numbers over 3000 specimens, backed up by meticulous research into patents and manufacturers.

The tangible result is his new book The Adjustable Spanner, History, Origins and Development to 1970 published on 11 March by the Crowood Press.

As an extra taster before ordering a copy, sit back and watch Ron introduce his collection in the video below.